Most runners only use a foam roller to rehab from an injury, but it can be used for much more. As a matter-of-fact, it should be used to prevent an injury by stretching out muscles and fascia after running.
Why You Need Rolling?
Over time, from the continual process of breaking down and repairing muscle, the connective tissue surrounding muscles (fascia) can thicken and shorten to protect the muscles it covers from further damage. This can cause trigger points which eventually can become sore spots. If left to persists, it can also restrict movement and even change your gait – all which can lead to an increased risk of injury.
Foam rolling should be part of your cool-down routine as it increases blood circulation; more blood flow means more oxygen to the muscles thus helping with faster recovery. Rolling can also help before a run as it releases knots in the muscles thus increasing the range of motion and reducing the risks of injury too.
However, in this article, we are limiting its use to post-workout. In particular, we are stretching out the:
While sitting on the floor, put a roller under your thighs. Roll your body across it from the buttocks down to the knees and back again for a few minutes. To increase the pressure, roll one leg at a time. Also turn the leg being rolled to the outside for even more coverage.
To stretch out the muscles on the insides of your legs, start by lying on your stomach on the floor. With one leg extended out to the side, place the roller under the inside of that thigh. Roll back and forth on the roller from your groin down to your knee and back as many times as you wish.
Start by lying on your stomach. Place the roller under the front of your thigh. Slowly roll back and forth from your hip down to your knees and back again several times.
While laying on your side supported by your elbow and forearm, place the roller under your hip. Roll back and forth from your hip to the knee. Switch sides and repeat on the other leg.
As a preventative routine, you should do these roller exercises daily for 10 to 15 minutes. At a minimum, be sure to roll these areas at least twice a week for maximum effectiveness.